Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Swelling of the Lip Evaluation

Evaluation of lip swelling is based on a history and physical examination.

Physical findings in someone with lip swelling may include:

Testing may be necessary to detect hereditary angioedema as a cause of lip swelling.

Tests that may be used to evaluate lip swelling include:
  • Complete blood count
  • C1 esterase blood level:
    • An important test for anyone who may have hereditary angioedema. Low levels of this enzyme will confirm this diagnosis.
  • Allergy testing may include one or more of the following:
    • Aquagenic: a test used to detect water-induced urticaria.
    • Delayed Pressure: this test involves the placement of a 5 to 10 pound object on the skin for 10 to 15 minutes and then observing the skin's reaction for the next three hours.
    • Dermatographism: a test involving the skin's reaction upon being scratched by a tongue blade; the course of the tongue blade is seen in a welt-like pattern on the skin
    • Ice Cube Test: touching ice to the skin can trigger cold-induced urticaria in some individuals.
    • Methacholine Test: this is a test that is used to identify cholinergic or exercise-induced urticaria.
    • Skin testing: the most common test where small amounts of allergens are placed into the skin.

For more information:

Continue to Swelling of the Lip Treatment

Last Updated: Dec 20, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Swelling of the Lip References
  1. Cohen EG, Soliman AM. Changing trends in angioedema. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2001 Aug;110(8):701-6. [11510724]
  2. Khanna G, Sato Y, Smith RJ, Bauman NM, Nerad J. Causes of facial swelling in pediatric patients: correlation of clinical and radiologic findings. Radiographics. 2006 Jan-Feb;26(1):157-71. [16418250]
  3. O'Brien JG, Chennubhotla SA, Chennubhotla RV. Treatment of edema. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Jun 1;71(11):2111-7. [15952439]
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